To know and not to do is not to know. It’s a pretty simple directive, but hard to put into practice in real life. Even the apostle Paul struggled with this ideal. In Romans 7:15 he says “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
I think everyone can relate to this struggle, and those who say they don’t are clearly delusional. Why is it so hard to do what you know is right? Knowing the shame and regret that sin leads to should be enough of a deterrent to keep us from what’s wrong, but that’s not the way it works.
I know the right things to eat and, at one point, had the self-discipline to actually follow the rigid restrictions of a healthy lifestyle. I felt great. So why did I change? I made excuses for stops at the drive through, I allowed simple indulgences to became habits, and diligence gave way to negligence. The slippery slope from will-power to wavering became a mudslide. And now my tubby self shudders when I look in the mirror. I feel a little down because I’ve put on a few pounds, and comfort myself with a large slice of cheesecake. Makes total sense.
I know what’s right, but what’s wrong tastes so good! Why can’t lettuce taste like chocolate and ice cream have no calories?
I guess this where the elusive fruit of the spirit, self-control, comes in. Perhaps next time I am offered a dessert item, I will eat a smaller portion. Perhaps next time I have a night to myself, I will practice my guitar instead of binge watching crime dramas. Perhaps next time I have a free morning, I will jog along the walking trail instead of moving at a snail’s pace. Perhaps prayer and the power of the spirit will become priority. Perhaps.
How do I change all the shoulda, woulda, couldas into a reality? I’m still working on that. One thing I do know is one momentary set-back isn’t the end of the world. Each time I step off the path to the straight and narrow, I can regain my footing if I just reset my focus on God.
One night of eating cookie dough, guzzling merlot, and watching beautiful, young detectives solve heinous murders in under an hour, doesn’t make me a loser. It’s just a lapse. Instead of beating myself up about what I didn’t do right, I can start fresh the next day. The stomach irritation and grogginess after a night of indulgence is pretty motivating.
One day I will reach perfection when I finally meet Jesus face to face, but until that time I will walk the path before me. Each stumble and stubbed toe is a lesson along the way. I can choose to grow and learn or grovel and lick my wounds. God doesn’t want us to live in the shame of yesterday, he wants us to move forward into today. After eating 48 oz. of raw cookie dough, I think that’s a good idea!
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.